SXSW Interactive 2013

Does Size Healthcare?


Can the small stuff scale in health? When many of our largest health care issues are systemic or policy driven, what’s needed to truly transform our ecosystem and drive lasting change? Do health start-ups have what it takes? Can they get it? How?

It's gospel with tech start-ups that you should focus on scale first and foremost. In healthcare, it's the opposite. Traditional drug and medical device companies focus on validating effectiveness, and rely on larger acquirers to take a new technology to scale.

What's the right model for tech companies in health? Should start-ups be focused on scale or effectiveness first and foremost?

Sue Siegel, current CEO of Healthymagination at GE (and former health care VC); Aman Bhandari, Senior Advisor to Todd Park at the White House; Geoff Clapp, mentor at Rock Health/former entrepreneur; and Martha Wofford, VP at Aetna, running CarePass, will debate issues of scale, scope and impact...and the road to working together to get this right.

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Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Is it possible for small start-ups to drive large scale change in health? What factors are necessary for this to take place?
  2. Does scale even matter in health? Can small make a difference? How so? And, who's doing this well? Not so well?
  3. What role do health start-ups play in driving change in larger companies like Aetna and GE -- the ones *with* scale? Is it necessary to acquire or is market competition a sufficient enough transformer?
  4. What are the major systemic / policy / regulatory gaps that exist in which small start-ups can make a quick and meaningful difference? Where should we start? What's worked to-date?
  5. What is the role of the government in escalating the impact of smaller change-makers? Is its role exclusively about setting effective policy? Is the government most effective as a source of pilot and demonstration projects?



Elliot Cohen, Co-Founder/Co-Director, MIT Hacking Medicine

Meta Information:

  • Tags: startups
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Health and Medicine
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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